Experts tell us that we need a vision of a desired outcome in order to achieve it.
I've been thinking about some of the visions I have heard recently.
Are you sitting down?
I had a meeting with House Speaker David Ralston last week at the Capitol. Got your breath yet? There's more. It was a good meeting.
Last week was another busy week under the Gold Dome. Bills were introduced on various topics and all of my committees met to discuss legislation and to learn about issues occurring in our State.
The House and Senate went into a joint session on Thursday in the House of Representatives for the State of the Judiciary Address.
So far this winter we have had periods of chilly weather mixed in with more mild conditions. This is the time when we might expect to see some springtail activity popping up.
I have already had one call from a household that was experiencing a sudden flush of tiny purple insects invading their house. This description is consistent with springtail activity, and if we continue to have mild and moist periods this winter, we can expect more springtail infestations.
As many of you recall, I opposed the recent charter school amendment, not because I oppose charter schools - I don't - but because I thought the wording of the amendment was duplicitous.
I thought it grossly unfair that Gov. Nathan Deal could wax eloquently on the need for passage of the amendment but State School Superin-tendent John Barge was not allowed to talk about opposing it. It was like Goliath beating up David.
There are many things that I simply do not understand and that's OK. The fact that I am not able to take advantage of lots of electronic devices may make me feel stupid, but it does not raise my blood pressure. I have long ago acknowledged that my finite mind will not comprehend infinity or divinity.
But arguments being floated against some measures of gun control not only surprise but outrage me.
In every middle school government class, there is a lesson about how a bill becomes a law-complete with charts, diagrams and textbook chapters.
We spent many hours as students reviewing and memorizing the process, and of course, passed the quizzes with flying colors. But with age sometimes comes a fuzzy recollection of those important lessons we learned so many years ago, and the one step of the process I am asked about the most is when a bill goes to committee. What is the function of committees? Who serves on the committee? Why are committee reviews necessary?
This past week was busy in the Georgia General Assembly.
We voted on several bills, including House Bill 57, legislation designed to protect Georgians from the growing problem of synthetic marijuana and narcotic "bath salts." These designer drugs can cause extreme paranoia, suicidal tendencies, hallucinations or death in some cases.
Every month, I sit down to review my family's household bills and pay what we owe in full.
Although there are always a few surprises (I remind my kids that they were not born in a barn, but the consequences of an open front door are reflected in the electric bill from time to time) my wife and I rearrange our budget to accommodate all of our monthly expenses. Even though our bills may fluctuate from time to time, we are careful to never spend beyond our means.
Last week the House and Senate appropriations committees began the arduous process of reviewing the governor's budget recommendations and turning them into the actual legislation that will ultimately guide all state spending.
Gov. Nathan Deal started the process Jan. 22 and was then followed by the leaders of our state agencies, each of whom explained their agency's budget and answered questions from House and Senate members.
Knock. Knock. Knock.
"Hello. Can I help you?"
My pilot eased back on the throttle, allowing our floatplane to start its decent toward the Wouri River. The massive river in Cameroon had flooded its banks because of the monsoons.
Low clouds and spotty fog hid much of the river as we scanned for a clearing in the grey muck. As we skimmed just above the rain forest canopy an opening emerged and we drove down, pulling up just before the water.
Don't look now but I think you are beginning to have some impact on the issue of unlimited lobbying expenditures in the Legislature.
Our politicians seem none too happy about having to derail their gravy train. They have tried to ignore you (and me) or, when necessary, explain to us in the most condescending manner the fact that just because they get to take expense-paid trips to fancy resorts (or Germany) or get free meals whenever they want or sit in private boxes at sporting events that you and I could never hope to see courtesy of lizard-loafered lobbyists ...
The Legislative Session is under way and it is off to a busy start.
Gov. Nathan Deal delivered his annual State of the State address to a joint session of the Senate and the House of Representatives on Thursday. During the speech he discussed his key legislative agenda items for the year and delivered his proposed budget to the General Assembly.
The 2013 legislative session kicked off last week and the Georgia State Senate wasted no time getting to work.
Although many issues will pass through the legislature this year, the decision on whether or not to continue the hospital provider fee as a funding mechanism for the state's Medicaid program is one that has received media attention for the past several months.
Last week, Winter Storm Leon brought snow and ice to many parts of our great state. Leon's impact on the metro Atlanta area was particularly harsh.
Columbia University's John McWhorter lectures on English linguistics and he, along with other linguists, are excited people these days. That is good because I would hate to think of them being bored.
My fellow Georgians, in order to keep my national certification as a modest and much-beloved columnist, it is a requirement that I submit to you annually a State of the Column message. This I do today. (Yea! Clap! Clap! Clap!)
Since I can't get out and about too much these days and since the weather has been too cold to be out and about much anyway, I decided to share some email chatter that might make you smile.
Every January, legislators from across the state convene at the Georgia State Capitol to set the course for Georgia's future. Because 2014 is the second half of a legislative biennial term, bills that did not pass in 2013 are still eligible for consideration in addition to the new bills introduced this year - which means legislators have a significant pile of work (literally, when you think about the stacks of printed bills on our desks...) ahead of us.
The purpose of this letter to the editor is to request the residents of Dawson County to assist me in contacting our local and state officials to work toward improving the unsafe intersection of Hwy. 53 and Hugh Stowers Road.
Gov. Nathan Deal gave his annual State of the State address to a joint session of the General Assembly on Jan. 15. The annual event takes place in the House of Representatives and is attended by members of the House, Senate, State Supreme Court Justices, State Court of Appeal Judges and the State's Constitutional Officers.
I read a news report this week that says while we are living longer in the U.S., people in other countries are living even longer. Bummer.